St Euphemia and the Council of Chalcedon

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When heresies arise in the Orthodox Church, the Truth is always defended by the Saints of God. In the case of the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon, the Truth was revealed by a miracle of St Euphemia.

Two sides were arguing in this Council over one question: what was Jesus Christ: Man, or God? The Monophysites, the heretics, argued that Christ was only Divine, not really human at all. The Orthodox, on the other hand, believed that He was both, at once, equally. These two groups spoke for months on this issue, but neither side would come to any agreement.

Finally, the Patriarch of Constantinople decided that since neither side could agree, God would have to decide for them. He asked both the Monophysites and Orthodox to write their beliefs about the nature of Christ on two separate scrolls. These scrolls were then sealed with wax, and given to the Patriarch, who brought them to the relics of St Euphemia, the All-Praised martyr. With him were representatives from both sides, and the Byzantine Emperor Marcian.

In the presence of all these witnesses, her tomb was opened, and the two scrolls were placed on her relics. Then the tomb was sealed with the imperial seal, and guards were stationed before it. For the next three days, both sides fasted and prayed with great intensity. Then, they gathered together at the tomb of St Euphemia once more.

When they opened the tomb, they found that a miracle had occurred. In her right hand, St Euphemia held the Orthodox scroll. Under her feet, as though she were stepping on it in disgust, was the heretical scroll.

Through the intercession of St Euphemia, Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on us.


Source: June-July 2014 Lychnos Edition